CRomnibus: Why Politicians Cannot Be Trusted with Our Money

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By Alieta Eck, M.D. – http://zhcenter.org

Congress just passed—without even reading it—a trillion dollar spending bill. The Continuing Resolution (CR) allows the government to keep spending in the absence of a budget. The “omnibus” package—“omni” means everything in the kitchen sink—adds in 1,600 pages of pork all mixed together. No amendments, no extractions: Take it all at once or shut down the government.

Obviously, congressmen who voted for it don’t live in the real world of mortgages, food budgets, and car payments, where real Americans actually have to pay their bills.

The mix includes a lot of things that Americans just rejected at the polls, like the ObamaCare website, consultants, and subsidies.

Congress doesn’t even know the real cost, and neither do the ObamaCare winners, the ones who get subsidies from other Americans to pay for their insurance. Those enrollees only know the amount they are expected to pay. So we have people who are very pleased at having to pay $69 per month for a policy that costs $1,500. Who is paying the difference?

Much of the Affordable Care Act “success” is based on the expansion of Medicaid. Taxpayers, state and federal, and their descendants, will pay 100% the cost of this coverage.

A Daily Caller New Foundation analysis of the Congressional Budget Office data revealed that ObamaCare will cost taxpayers $1.38 trillion through 2024. The number of newly insured is estimated to be 25 million. Thus, the cost to insure each new person will be about $55,000.

Is this good value? How many would freely choose to pay it? Does it even mean access to actual medical care? No, it means a promise that people might get care that’s included in the politically correct mandates. These assume that Americans, just as Jonathan Gruber said, are stupid. Left to themselves, they might purchase what they themselves think they need instead of what special-interest groups want them to have.

Most Americans are willing to work to support their families and live the good life that had always been possible for those who worked hard. Politicians have made this far more difficult, as they have made the cost of living outpace our ability to pay for it. Especially the cost of medical care.

Previously, Americans went to see a doctor they trusted when they felt ill. He charged a reasonable fee, which was simply paid, like any other bill. In the early 1950s, insurance companies saw an opportunity to help cushion the cost of major medical events and offered “hospitalization” coverage. Sure, they made a profit, but it was reasonable, as the insurance covered only major items, and the premiums were affordable. For those who were poor and unable to afford care, towns developed safety-net clinics, mostly housed in the hospitals and staffed by residents who were eager to learn, and relied on volunteers who were kind and compassionate. All medical care was local–and affordable.

The cost of a doctor visit—when paid directly—has not outpaced inflation. The cost of health insurance, however, has increased to something in the range of a mortgage payment. Americans need relief.

The solution lies in minimizing the very expensive middlemen who have benefited greatly from the third-party payment system. While the number of physicians has gone up 200%, the number of administrators, those who do not provide actual care, has increased by 3,000%.

This system was created with the help of politicians who specialize in getting elected to office. The Affordable Care Act was written by people who seem unable to relate to those giving or receiving actual care. In fact, no practicing physicians were consulted.

The new Congress needs to listen to the people who elected them, especially physicians and patients, not academics, executives, and economists—those who engineer pre-paid “plans,” which are erroneously called insurance.

The answer will come from people (who make up what is called the “free market”) figuring out how to solve their own problems, not from prescriptions thrust on them by politicians and their multi-million dollar super-“smart” consultants.


Dr. Alieta Eck, MD, (New Jersey): Dr. Alieta Eck, MD graduated from the Rutgers College of Pharmacy in NJ and the St. Louis School of Medicine in St. Louis. MO. She studied Internal Medicine at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, NJ and has been in private practice with her husband, Dr. John Eck, MD in Piscataway, NJ since 1988. She has been involved in health care reform since residency and is convinced that the government is a poor provider of medical care. She testified before the Joint Economic Committee of the US Congress in 2004 about better ways to deliver health care in the United States. In 2003, she and her husband founded the Zarephath Health Center, a free clinic for the poor and uninsured that currently cares for 300-400 patients per month utilizing the donated services of volunteer physicians and nurses. Dr. Eck is a long time member of the Christian Medical Dental Associations and in 2009 joined the board of the AAPS. She served as its President in 2012. In addition, she serves on the board of Christian Care Medi-Share, a faith based medical cost sharing Ministry. She is a member of Zarephath Christian Church and she and her husband have five children of which one is an ophthalmology resident in St. Louis, MO. Dr. Eck is the 2014 Republican candidate for US Congress in NJ CD-12.

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